Date of Award


Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (Research)


Business and Social Studies

First Advisor

Gerry Gallagher


This study has been conducted at a time when Ireland’s tourism industry is booming. Following eight successive years of growth there exists an air of invincibility surrounding the sector. However, on P‘ January 2002 the European Single Currency will come into circulation in the form of Euro notes and coins, and with it comes the seeds of change. It could very well profoundly transform Irish tourism and will undoubtedly involve changes in business behaviour and practice. The study examines tourism in Ireland at national and regional level. It explores the foundations behind the European Single Currency and its implications for tourism in Ireland. The competitive assessment of Ireland’s tourism product identifies that the Euro could have serious consequences for those tourism operators that are not prepared for the increased competitiveness within the tourism marketplace. The current views of the Cork and Kerry tourism stakeholders are analysed in the form of questionnaire, in-depth personal interviews and a focus group interview. Following the examination of the consequences of a Single European Currency on tourism in the Cork and Kerry region, the study establishes that the Euro introduction will affect the various tourism sectors in different ways and that unprepared tourism operators in the region must be able to adapt and evolve in order to survive in an increasingly competitive tourism marketplace. Domestic and international tourists are spoilt for choice when it comes to cheap holiday destinations, Ireland is an expensive holiday destination due to a high cost base and therefore must compete on quality and value for money. Tourism is about people and tourism in the region will succeed by developing a well-trained and professional workforce to implement best practice. The study highlights that small tourism enterprises in the Cork and Kerry region are not prepared for the Euro introduction and that the Euro information campaigns have failed to equip the sector with the necessary information to plan for increased competition. The study proposes that the small tourism operator must consider closer relationships with local tourism businesses to form alliances or cooperatives in order to benefit from synergic outcomes. They must incorporate strategic focus, innovative thinking and a service quality commitment to their management style. Destinations will need to gain competitive advantages, through a differentiation strategy based on quality and value for money and careful management of its environment.

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